UPDATED with more reactions: Refresh for latest… Hollywood is waking up to the news that Brad Grey, who ran Paramount Pictures for 12 years as chairman and CEO and before that was a partner in the powerhouse management/production company Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, has died of cancer at 59. Grey exited Paramount officially in February.
Here are some reactions to the death of the man who oversaw a number of Paramount franchises including Transformers, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Paranormal Activity and Jackass. And before that at Brillstein, he worked on The Sopranos, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Steve Harvey Show and, of course, Garry Shandling’s The Larry Sanders Show.
Here is what Hollywood is saying. Check back for updates.
David Chase, The Sopranos creator:
“Brad was a grand partner and colleague. His taste was exquisite, he was so intelligent. When you went to pitch with Brad, it was actually fun. He had such confidence underneath a cool, amused exterior. The thing I will remember most about Brad is his generosity. He loved movies, he loved entertainment, he loved life. He loved his success and he made sure to share it with the people who surrounded him. I’m going to miss him terribly.”
Martin Scorsese, Oscar-winning filmmaker:
“Brad Grey was a true friend, and he genuinely loved movies. Our professional relationship started with The Departed, which he basically shepherded into existence —sadly, he is uncredited as a producer on that picture, but that’s the title he deserved. He and I worked together on every picture I made since, all the way through Silence, and he was always extremely protective of the creative process, very careful to keep it separate from all infighting and financial entanglements — in other words, the business. Like so many of Brad’s friends, I’m in a state of shock.”
Jim Gianopulos, Chairman & CEO of Paramount Pictures:
All of us at Paramount are deeply saddened by the news of Brad Grey’s passing. He was at the helm of the studio for over a decade and was responsible for so many of it’s most beloved films. We extend our deepest sympathies to Cassandra, Max, Sam, Emily and Jules Grey, along with Brad’s mother, brother and sister. I was proud to call Brad a friend, and one I greatly admired. He will be missed by us all, and left his mark on our industry and in our hearts.
Brillstein Entertainment Group:
Brad was a unique force in our business and a self-made man. Brad helped forge a new paradigm in representing artists and worked to reinvent how a management company can serve its clients. Our hearts go out to his family, whom he loved dearly. As a company, we are indebted to his legacy.
Jim Berkus, UTA chairman:
“Brad Grey was a colleague, collaborator and, most importantly, a great friend. As a talent executive, he fought for his clients and helped stretch the boundaries of tradition to enable his clients to do great things. As a studio executive, he was committed to making movies that would stand the test of time. He created a legacy in our industry that will have a lasting impact. All of UTA mourns his loss, and we will miss him greatly.”
All of us at HBO are heartsick to learn of the passing of our colleague and friend Brad Grey. From his early days as a founding partner of Brillstein-Grey, he brought many great comedic artists to HBO, and of course one of TV’s most iconic shows, The Sopranos, for which he served as Executive Producer. More importantly he was a friend, supporter and cheerleader for all of us for many years. We will miss him very much. Our heart goes out to his entire family.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company:
I was stunned and saddened to learn of Brad Grey’s passing. He was a dear friend, a respected colleague, and a great guy. He will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. My thoughts are with his wife Cassandra, his children, and his entire family.
Bob Weinstein, Co-Chairman of the Weinstein Company:
I knew Brad for over 40 years. He started out as me and my brother’s assistant and within 6 months it was clear that we should be working for him and not the other way around. He was destined for great things in this business, but more importantly on a personal level, I knew him as a family man and nothing was more important to him than that. My condolences to his family and he will be missed.
Filmmaker Ava Duvernay:
Before Selma was released, he invited me to dinner. Fab stories. Good laughs. And shrewd advice that I still use. May his soul be at rest.
Gary Barber, Chairman and CEO of MGM :
“I am deeply devastated by the untimely passing of Brad. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
MPAA Chairman & CEO Chris Dodd:
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brad Grey, a colleague and friend. As a producer and industry leader, Brad brought great storytelling to audiences around the world, and his contributions to the creative community will be enjoyed for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Writer-director Dan Hannon:
Not long after taking the reins at Paramount, he bought a script of mine. It was my first sale in the biz. Thanks again. RIP Brad Grey.